What if we could create materials that respond to our individual needs, helping us to live better lives? What if there was clothing that could think for itself, or bandages that could tell us when they need to be changed? These are questions that Lauren Bowker, material scientist and founder of THE UNSEEN, wants to tackle.

Her studio, which has previously made colour-, environment- and mood-changing couture pieces, has just unveiled its latest breakthrough: colour-changing hair dye.

Yes, you read correctly! Just in time for London Fashion Week, THE UNSEEN launched its first hair dye, which changes colours based on the temperature of the environment and you. Change in temperature triggers a reaction that produces a molecule with a slightly different absorption of light, and thus a different colour.

FIRE is inspired by occult glamour – a spell cast on somebody to make them see something the spell-caster wishes them to see. The application of the dye is currently semi-permanent lasting over a few washes and the brand is currently looking for commercial partners to help take the innovation to market.


Bowker and her team are confident there will be no damage to the scalp, and no significant effect on the hair fibres themselves (no more than typical semi permanent dyes, that is). That said, the studio is working on optimising the recipe and assessing its toxicology before the product is commercialised.

So far, THE UNSEEN have coloured a number of successful samples both on and off the body, in various colours for various seasons and bodily temperatures. These include blue outdoors and blonde indoors, and a black to red dye which changes colour as the user warms up to highlight emotion or blushing through the hair.

Bowker shares she chose to launch the product at London Fashion Week to raise awareness around creativity in science and encourage young females to get into science and engineering.

We can’t wait to get our hands on one of those!

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